Gaza—a piece of old Palestine which Israel has turned (and continues to turn) into brutal, hellish combination of open-air prison and live fire exercise—burns.
As one might reasonably expect, the propagandists government, press, military, and some so-called “rights” organizations, have put fresh shoes on an old horse and trotted out that tired phrase “human shields”. They refer, of course, to Hamas, and their belief that Palestinians would callously use other Palestinians as meat to absorb the slashings of Israeli shrapnel, the concussive force of Israeli bombs. A couple of samples:
The Twitter account of the spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Force (an Orwellian name if ever one existed) posted this:
Imraan Siddiqi followed with:
to which I replied:
And it seems like an obvious enough way to state the problem with the phrase “human shields”. Palestinians are human when it’s convenient for the propagandists, and, to those same propagandists, wasted flesh when simply trying to live.
But maybe warning shots work to, “scatter the roaches,” as so perfectly stated by the fictional but apropos Colonel Miles Quaritch (in the film Avatar). An article in Haaretz suggests otherwise: Israeli army says the killing of 8 Gazan family members was in error. That headline and the article which follows is as close to insanity as anything I’ve ever read, and I don’t blame Haaretz. How could such an “error” be reported, spun left, right, or wiffle ball, and not be something out of the realm of nightmare?
We’re told Hamas uses human shields. Have you ever been told Israel uses human shields? Have you ever been told that Israel uses Palestinians as human shields against other Palestinians? (More from I Stand With Palestine and Amnesty International.)
The phrase “human shields” is a rhetorical sword, a weapon in the arsenal of the propagandists. Its use makes the enemy seem savage and immoral, while its wielder appears honorable and upright. It is a phrase hidden in a fold in the Newspeak dictionary, its meaning obvious, its twisting of our minds disguised.
Do I think Hamas uses human shields? My doubts are great. Do I think the Israeli government, military, and their Zionist supporters really care that Hamas might use human shields? No, not at all. One more dead Palestinian is nothing more than progress toward a greater Israel, as far as they are concerned.
(If you’re viewing this post via a method that shows the ‘Continue reading’ link below, click through to see addenda to this post containing links to an assortment of articles concerning human shields, warning shots, etc.)
Addendum, 11 July 2014: It occurs (belatedly) to me that if you take the title of this post, Human Shield / Rhetorical Sword, and compress it, you get Operation Protective Edge.
Read an article from Mondoweiss about what an Israeli warning shot is like, with video: Terror in Gaza: 57 seconds after ‘warning,’ Israel destroys a house
True human shields, people with honor – International activists remain in Gaza hospital threatened by Israeli missiles
Addendum, 12 July 2014: An opinion post from November 2012, posted to Gawker by John Cook – This Is Not a Human Shield
Addendum, 13 July 2014: Note that many of the articles I’m appending to this post are older articles from past instances of Israeli aggression against Palestine. Check article dates when available.